Chapter

Evolutionary Relationships

Theodore W. Pietsch

in Oceanic Anglerfishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520255425
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942554 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255425.003.0004
Evolutionary Relationships

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Under the extreme selective pressures imposed by meso- and bathypelagic environments, a vast array of bizarre and wonderful creatures has evolved, displaying behaviors and associated morphological adaptations that are almost beyond our ability to imagine. Among the highly diverse products of this evolution in the great oceanic depths, few are as surprising and spectacular as the deep-sea anglerfishes. A rigorously tested systematic hypothesis of relationships allows for a precise reconstruction of aspects of character evolution, which in turn will cast light on broader evolutionary processes that have taken place within the Ceratioidei, and perhaps within the deep-ocean ecosystem as a whole. This chapter is devoted to that effort. It discusses ordinal relationships, subordinal and familial relationships, giving a key to the major subgroups of the Lophiiformes, looking at the relationships of Ceratioid families and genera, characters and character states, characters restricted to metamorphosed males, characters restricted to larvae, and sexual parasitism.

Keywords: Ceratioidei; anglerfishes; character evolution; family relationships; Lophiiformes; character states; sexual parasitism

Chapter.  14859 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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